The idea for this site came to me after reading this Ontario Ministry of Education's booklet on improving boy's literacy: Me Read? No Way! A Practical Guide to Improving Boy's Literacy Skills (Ontario Education, 2004.), which suggests using popular culture, multimedia, music and art to engage student literacy learning.
Activities are centered upon Ontario Language curriculum expectations. It can be used in the classroom as a literacy workstation during literacy center time or as a whole class activity. It can also be used at home.
Tasks are based on typical literacy/writing activities often implemented in the classroom, such as:
- Retell (Beginning/Middle End)
- Personal Reflections
- Story Features (Setting/Character/Plot)
- Opinions, persuasive writing, 'book' reviews
- Making Predictions
- Story writing
However, instead of books, students are using 'a broad range of narratives' (Me Read? No Way pg 11) such as music videos and cartoons.
- To stimulate student discussion and interest in a broad range of narratives
- To promote written responses to media & story-telling
- To engage reluctant readers in literacy activities with the intent that those abilities translate into other areas of literacy (such as books & pencil/paper tasks). (For instance, practicing 'retell/reflect/relate' with a cartoon engages and prepares the student for the same activity with a book.)
- To encourage basic computer skills such as mouse and keyboard use, and how to navigate a web-page
- To promote critical thinking of media and to expose students to a variety of media forms ('media literacy')
- To provide differentiated instruction (for example, with audio-to-text MP3's to support the reading of the website) so that all students can access the site.
- To be paperless!
Content is provided by YouTube.com.
Material was found through kid-friendly search engines and websites, such as Kidzui, zuitube, totlol, Nickelodian, Nick Jr., CBC, YTV, Nintendo Wii, Disney/Pixar. When material is rated (such as TV shows) I have ensured it is meant for 'audiences of all ages'.
I hope you enjoy this fun and interactive literacy site! If you've any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Johnson, Teacher, SCDSB, Ontario, Canada
*originally posted Sept. 2010, revised April 2014